updated 03:15 pm EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Gundotra leaving Google after almost eight years
Vic Gundotra has announced he is leaving Google, after close to eight years with the tech giant. Revealed in a Google+ post, the social network Gundotra helped create, he praises the company he is parting from and the people he's met, though neither his post nor that of Google CEO Larry Page hint at whether Gundotra is leaving of his own accord or if he was pushed.
"I have been incredibly fortunate to work with the amazing people of Google," Gundotra writes, thanking the leadership and support of Page in his work. "From starting Google I/O, to being responsible for all mobile applications, to creating Google+, none of this would have happened without Larry's encouragement and support."
"I'm also forever in the debt to the Google+ team," Gundotra adds, calling them a group that constructed the social network "against the skepticism of so many," and praising the "staggering" growth of active users on the service. Gundotra goes on to thank those he met on Google+, admiring the support from the community, and that it is "something I will never forget."
In Page's post, the CEO talks about Gundotra's work at the company, from mobile apps to being blown away by turn-by-turn navigation, to walking on stage at Google I/O. "These were vintage Vic projects. Then you built Google+ from nothing," writes Page, continuing "There are few people with the courage and ability to start something like that and I am very grateful for all your hard work and passion."
Outside of creating products, Gundotra has had a few confrontations with Apple and its leadership. In 2010, he went on stage to claim that Android was necessary to avoid the dominance of the iPhone and iOS, claiming "If we did not act, we faced a draconian future where one man, one phone, one carrier was the future. That's a future we don't want." Days later, Gundotra claimed the comments and direct references to Apple were not attacks, with the statements conducted in a "spirit of good fun." A report in early 2011 claimed Gundotra and Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller disagreed over location data collected through Google Maps in 2008.
There has yet to be an official appointment to replace Gundotra as the head of Google+. though sources of Recode claim Page has picked Vice President of Engineering David Besbris to take over the role.